New Hersey principal named two days before start of school year

A new principal was announced for John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights Monday, just two days before the start of the school year.

Keir Rogers, the current principal of Northwest Suburban High School District 214's Specialized Schools division, is being reassigned to the top post at Hersey, following Gordon Sisson's unexpected announcement Monday that he is taking a medical leave.

Valerie Norris, assistant principal for student services at Elk Grove High School, is being appointed as the new principal of Specialized Schools, which includes the Academy at Forest View, Vanguard School and the Newcomer Center.

"I greatly value Gordie's leadership these past nine years and wish him the absolute best going forward," Superintendent David Schuler said in a news release. "I know that these leaders are well equipped for the tasks ahead and will ensure a smooth transition.

"Gordie has provided a high level of leadership for the John Hersey community, and Keir has demonstrated a talent for innovation in his time at the Specialized Schools. Keir and Val will continue these positive trends for students and staff in their new assignments."

Sisson arrived at Hersey in 2012 after spending more than three decades working at schools in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Rogers was hired by District 214 last year after serving as principal of River Trails Middle School in River Trails Elementary District 26 since 2008. He's been a principal at various schools across northern Illinois after starting his career as assistant principal at Auburn High School in Rockford. He has a master's degree in administration and supervision and a bachelor's degree in communication from Loyola University, where he also starred on the basketball team. He's currently working on his doctorate in education at Concordia University, officials said.

Norris has been an assistant principal at Elk Grove for 15 years and has been at the school since 1999. She began her career as a counselor in Miami before working as a school counselor at Huntley High School. She holds degrees in education and counselor education from DePaul University and Florida International University. She also holds certifications in administration and special education.

The administrative changes will be formally considered for approval by the school board Thursday.

Gordon Sisson
Valerie Norris
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